(NewsNation) — Surveillance footage shows seven suspects strolling out of a Lululemon in Manhattan’s West Village last week with nearly $30,000 worth of clothing.
The most shocking part of the video is that the security guards are standing there, watching it happen.
The incident comes just a few weeks after a different fashion bandit successfully burglarized half a dozen high end clothing stores in the same area.
“The security guards want to do something, clearly. It’s their job to do that,” retail analyst Hitha Herzog said Friday night on NewsNation’s “Dan Abrams Live.” “But what is the consequence? If they actually act and try to prevent these thieves from walking out of the store, they run the risk of getting hurt themselves.”
Retired NYPD Deputy Commissioner Wilbur Chapman also weighed in, saying it’s particularly difficult in New York.
“This is considered a nonviolent crime. So therefore, the people who commit them can be released on bail, and that allows them to become recidivist,” Chapman said. “Each time they’re arrested by the NYPD, they’re released on bail. So as a result, they can come back and commit the crime.”
Also, the security guards are not law enforcement officers. In New York, there is an option for businesses to hire off-duty police officers to guard their facilities, but it’s not cheap.
Herzog says small businesses are getting hit the hardest by organized retail theft.
“These are rings that are coming in taking merchandise and then selling it on the black market. That money is then being used to support illicit things like terrorism, like human trafficking, you know, some of the most horrific things,” Herzog said.
“The laws have to change, and they have to give police the authority to lock people up and not worry about them being released 15 minutes later,” Chapman said. “Allowing people to commit these crimes, and to continue these acts of violence against property, will just extend itself to acts of violence against people. It’s just a matter of time.”